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Hospital hygiene failings revealed

3rd June 2008

A BBC programme has found "major problems" in cleaning processes at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Wales.

Corridor

An undercover reporter for the Week In Week Out programme worked as a cleaner at the hospital and revealed "flaws which increased the risk of infections".

The reporter was recruited as a cleaner through the Smart Solutions agency. Her references and lack of criminal record were not confirmed and she was trained for only 10 minutes.

She was able to secretly film "serious breaches of hygiene policy" which elevated the danger of transmitting superbug infections such as MRSA and C difficile.

Problems included cleaning staff not using disposable equipment, nurses not passing on data to cleaners regarding how rooms should be handled and meals provided close to "bags full of infected linen".

Staff also used the same mops and rags when cleaning normal wards as those in special "barrier nursing" rooms. Places that were scheduled to be deep cleaned were not done due to the fact that cleaners' time ran out.

Royal Gwent patient Sybil Monahan's family lodged a complaint with Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust regarding inefficient cleaning while she was treated there. The family were given an apology after she died and were told that improvements would be made.

However, the programme has revealed that cleaning issues still remain.

Trust medical director Grant Robinson said the hospital was "reviewing its hygiene and recruitment policies and procedures".

 

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